Steelers GM Kevin Colbert Gives Thoughts On Shepherd UDFA OLB Howard Jones

The Pittsburgh Steelers came to terms with nine undrafted players at the conclusion of the 2014 NFL Draft and one of those players, defensive end Howard Jones out of Shepherd University, seems to be creating quite a bit of buzz as far as the fan base goes.

On the Monday edition of The David Todd Show, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert was kind enough to provide a quick bio on the 6’2″, 235 pound outside linebacker prospect.

“Howard, he’s an athletic kid,” started Colbert. “He’ll still have to grow some physically, but he’s got a nice skill set. He worked out good. He did produce at the Division II level, I don’t want to say he dominated, but he stood out at the Division II level. He had a chance to play in one of the postseason games and he didn’t look out of place there.

“He was definitely a draftable guy and we were happy to be able to get him as a priority free agent, quite honestly. We would have considered drafting him, but didn’t have enough picks to quite get that done, so we were fortunate enough to sign him as a free agent to see what he’s got.”

Jones, who was a 2013 finalist for the Cliff Harris Award (Small College Defensive Player of the Year), recorded 35 sacks and  69.5 tackles for loss in 47 games played at Shepherd.

At the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, Jones’ 40.5-inch vertical jump was best for the down linemen and second-best among the linebackers that took part in the event. The Steelers obviously put him through linebacker drills either at his Pro Day or during private workout and liked what they saw.

By the time training camp rolls around, I’m sure Jones will be the camp darling as far as undrafted free agents go and he really sounds like a likeable kid in the interview below that gave to WRNR Radio back at his Pro Day.


  • Kenneth Wilt

    If you look at that weight, I see no reason why Zumwalt can’t put on some weight and potentially move outside.

  • ApexSteel

    I hate player comparisons, but this sound similar to the Adrian Robinson situation.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Of not to everyone….235 is the same weight as Zumwalt. Zumwalt is currently 10 pounds lighter than Jarvis Jones is listed.

  • Matt Manzo

    Beat Out Carter! That’s all he has to think about!

  • GoSteelerz

    Zumwalt looked pretty strong to me, it looked like even big O-Linemen had a hard time moving him. However, he needs to get better at shedding blocks, which to me means he needs to learn better hand usage skills at the point of attack. Of course it’s always good to get stronger, it’s just that I thought strength is already a part of his game at the college level anyway.

  • GoSteelerz

    I totally agree, Carter seems like the Linebacker version of Curtis Brown… I’m glad we finally let him go, and now I’m hoping someone beats out Carter. I always root for guys from smaller schools, so I’d love for it to be Howard Jones!

  • Matt Manzo

    Ya, I’m just goin on what I’ve heard. I agree, he looked strong enough to me! I think speed and coverage is an issue too, but I hear his intensity makes up for what he lacks? I’m glad we’re the ones giving him a chance!

  • shawn

    good comparison !

  • Dan

    Howard Jones was one of the most underrated musicians of the 1980’s.

  • RayE

    Jones topped Clownley in the vertical jump at the combine and was a top performer. I saw him play at Shepherd last year. He’s a nice kid, a hard worker with a good attitude. I’m hoping he makes it with the Steelers.

  • steeltown

    Colbert and Co definitely targeted certain types of players this year, even this guy is a crazy athlete.. 4.60 40time, 40.5 vert jump and top tier in the 3cone

  • Chad H

    I have his greatest hits CD!

  • Rosco

    I know this may sound ridiculous but I envy the teams who have a white linebacker!! Chad Greenway Kiko Alonzo Luke Kuechly Sean Lee Paul Posluszny and Thor!! I feel like they play with a chip on their shoulder!! Im rooting for this guy!!

  • Mark Davis

    The Steelers got Zumwalt out of UCLA, but just saying Howard Jones isn’t white lol

  • Rosco

    I meant to comment on the post about Zumwalt by Kenneth Wilt up top! Lol

  • Mark Davis

    oh haha

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    since when did Donald Sterling start commenting on this website?

  • OIF3gunner


  • OIF3gunner

    Don’t you know that you can’t be proud of your heritage if you’re white!?

  • Rosco

    I didnt mean it to be offensive!! Im not even white!! I goes I just havent gotten over that kuechely didnt make it to us!

  • Dan

    So do I.